Since forming in 2008, The HillBenders have been winning over audiences from coast to coast with their unique style, original compositions and relentless drive. Claiming the championship title at the 2009 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition helped put the band on the map, and their recent victory at the National Single Microphone Championships proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. The HillBenders have become a must-see act with repeat appearances at some of the country’s premiere music events including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, RockyGrass, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, International Bluegrass Music Association’s Fan Fest, Walnut Valley Festival and many more.
Can You Hear Me? is a powerful mix of original music and unique covers which showcases the band’s vocal diversity and instrumental virtuosity. Austin-bred mandolin player Nolan Lawrence provides the group’s distinctive soulful, blues-tinged vocals while California-born banjoist Mark Cassidy, cousins guitarist Jim Rea and bassist Gary Rea with Dobroist Chad “Gravy Boat” Graves are all called on to contribute lead and harmony vocals as well as scorching instrumental solos. Stand-out tracks include the kick off track “Train Whistle” with its infectious groove reminiscent of New Grass Revival, the funky and high energy ”Concrete Ribbon,” the evocative Dobro-led instrumental “Gettysburg and a unique cover of The Romantics’ “Talking in Your Sleep.”